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What Trump’s Legal Perils Mean for His Candidacy

Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Photographer: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

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Former President Donald Trump embarked on another White House run while facing a slew of legal troubles. They now include a recommendation from lawmakers that Trump be charged in connection with the violent attack on the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, while Congress was certifying the results of the 2020 election. The cases could pose distractions and produce unflattering revelations that no presidential candidate would welcome. Trump is no normal politician, though, and the legal scrutiny could feed his preferred narrative that he is being unfairly targeted by the current Democratic administration and a “deep state” bureaucracy. 

Trump faces possible criminal charges by the US Justice Department over classified documents found at his home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot; by Atlanta’s district attorney over his attempts to change the 2020 Georgia election results; and by a grand jury in New York over any role he may have played in making hush money payments to an adult film actress on the eve of the 2016 election. On the civil side, Trump’s hurdles include a lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James that accuses him and three of his children of fraudulently manipulating the value of the company’s assets for years to deceive banks and insurers.